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Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India

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Abstract

We estimate production functions for cognition and health for children aged 1-12 in India, where over 70 million children aged 0-5 are at risk of developmental deficits. The inputs into the production functions include parental background, prior child cognition and health, and child investments. We use income and local prices to control for the endogeneity of investments. We find that cognition is sensitive to investments throughout the age range we consider, while health is mainly affected by early investments. We also find that inputs are complementary, and crucially that health is very important in determining cognition. Our paper contributes in understanding how investments and early health outcomes are important in child development.

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  • Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Emily Nix, 2015. "Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2026R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:2026r
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    Cited by:

    1. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2012. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," NBER Working Papers 18493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Heath, Rachel, 2017. "Fertility at work: Children and women's labor market outcomes in urban Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 190-214.
    3. Andrew D. Foster & Esther Gehrke, 2017. "Consumption Risk and Human Capital Accumulation in India," NBER Working Papers 24041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    Keywords

    Early childhood development; Human capital; India; Nonlinear factor models; Young lives survey; Health; Cognition;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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